Iron Mountain

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IRON Mountain-Logo.png
Type: Public
Industry: Information Management
Founded: 1951
Founder(s): Herman Knaust
Headquarters: One Federal Street.
Boston, MA 02110
Products: Information Management Services
Employees: 19,000
Facebook: Iron Mountain
LinkedIn: Iron Mountain
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@IronMountain
Key People
Shane Ryan, Business Development Manager

David Jones, Client Executive
John Boruvka, Vice President of Sales
Mary English, Vice President of Operations
John Trotti, Senior Manager, Contracts
Joy Egerton, Manager of Business Support
David Burke, Business Support Specialist
Sesh Venkat, Manager of Software Engineering
Nadine Dias, Marketing Specialist

Iron Mountain assists more than 156,000 organizations in 36 countries on five continents to store, protect, and manage their information. With headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, Iron Mountain has over 17,000 employees and 1,000 different locations worldwide that cover over 64 million square feet.[1]

Iron Mountain's History with ICANN

Iron Mountain has a long history with ICANN, protecting registry data, registrar data, and new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) client data. In 2001, Iron Mountain was the first company ever selected by ICANN to protect registry data via escrow agreements. Each Registry Operator must comply with provisions contained within a Registry Data Escrow Agreement as part of its Registry Agreement with ICANN. This agreement requires registries to periodically transfer registry data for their generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to a reputable escrow agent to be held in escrow, in order to protect registrant interests in the case of a registry's failure.

In 2007, Iron Mountain was selected by ICANN to function as its Registrar Data Escrow agent.[2] Today, there are nearly 1,000 registrars, and ICANN now requires these registrars to escrow critical registration data that could then be released to ICANN in case there is a termination of the registrar's accreditation agreement (RAA).

In 2013, Iron Mountain was approved by ICANN to provide data escrow services to new gTLD clients as the Domain Name space expands.[3] To date, Iron Mountain has been selected by over 800 new gTLDs to provide escrow services for their registry data.

The company is a regular exhibitor and sponsor at ICANN Meetings.

Data Escrow and the New gTLDs

The New gTLD Program was developed to increase competition and choice in the Domain Name space. As the New generic Top-Level Domains (new gTLDs) become a reality, ICANN is carefully preparing applicants for their new role as Registry Operators.

One of the requirements of operating a new gTLD is to engage an independent entity to act as a data escrow agent. This neutral, trusted third party (such as Iron Mountain) will provision the Registry's data escrow services as specified by the Registry Agreement. Data escrow is one of the five critical registry functions and is a requirement for all new gTLDs. It is covered in question #38 of the ICANN New gTLD application, and details are given in Specification 2 of the Registry Agreement. New gTLD applicants need to articulate that a plan is in place to escrow gTLD data.

Iron Mountain has developed the Information Guide “Data Escrow for the New gTLDs: Safeguarding Your Future” to provide more information.[4]

Summary of Iron Mountain Registry and Registrar Escrow Services

  • More than 70% of all new gTLDs delegated have chosen IRM to fulfill their data escrow requirements to ICANN.
  • Iron Mountain has the most experience of any escrow agent and manages over 140 million domain names.
  • Since 2001, Iron Mountain has handled over 500,000 data escrow deposits.
  • Iron Mountain is the only Fortune 1000 company committed to the data escrow business with over 30 years of know-how in the escrow business.

Registry Data Escrow

Registry operators worldwide are recognizing the need for full compliance with data escrow requirements. Registry data escrow is one of the essential stakeholder protection mechanisms for the gTLDs. The purpose of registry data escrow is to help safeguard registrar and registrant interests in the event of a registry’s business or technical failure. Registry data escrow ensures that the data associated with registered domain names is never at risk of being lost or inaccessible. Registry data escrow is a specialized data protection service designed to meet the compliance and “best practice” needs of domain name registrants worldwide. Iron Mountain protects the registry data through use of RAID storage and physical backup tapes stored in secure facilities. This service ensures that up-to-date copies of domain name ownership and contact details are held in escrow by a trusted, neutral third party (such as Iron Mountain), and that this information can be accessed and released only under pre-defined and controlled conditions. Iron Mountain’s Registry Data Escrow service is fully automated and has been enhanced at the request of ICANN and the registry community and per the specifications of the program to ensure customer ease-of-use.[5]

Review more information in Iron Mountain’s “Frequently Asked Questions about Registry Data Escrow.

For more technical detail, Iron Mountain has developed “Registry Data Escrow Service: Your Technical Questions Answered.”

Iron Mountain also provides a document on learning how to “Protect the Data Associated with your gTLD.

Registrar Data Escrow

ICANN began implementation of its Registrar Data Escrow program in 2007. This program is designed to help ensure the stability and security of the Internet’s domain name system through escrow of critical gTLD registration data, ensuring that the information associated with registered domain names is never at risk. Registrar Data Escrow protection serves as an under-the-radar safeguard, ensuring the continuity of service across the internet and delivers peace of mind to ICANN and domain name registrars worldwide.

In accordance with the Registrar Accreditation Agreement (RAA), this data can be used by ICANN to allow continuity or registrar operations in the event a registrar’s RAA is terminated or expires without renewal. Iron Mountain was selected by ICANN as its designated escrow agent for the Registrar Data Escrow program as an analogue to the company’s long-lasting role as a provider of comprehensive Domain Name Registry Data Escrow services, as well as it’s recognized leadership in securing and protecting mission-critical information for corporate and government clients worldwide.

Through their participation in the Registry Data Escrow program, registrars can assure their customers that their domain name registration information is safe, and will be accessible by ICANN in the unlikely event that the registrar’s operations are disrupted. As Iron Mountain’s is ICANN’s selected escrow agent, there is no additional cost to registrars who escrow their registration data with the company. Registrars who elect to use a third-party provider must do so at their own expense.[6]

Find more information from Iron Mountain on this subject in the article “Registrar Data Escrow Compliance: Safeguarding Domains Large and Small.”

Iron Mountain Business Scope and Investor Information

Organizations in every major industry and of all sizes—including more than 94% of the Fortune 1000—rely on Iron Mountain to store and manage their information. Iron Mountain safely stores some of the world's most valuable historical artifacts, cultural treasures, business documents and medical records. To properly protect and render this information, Iron Mountain employs almost 17,000 professionals and boasts an infrastructure that includes more than 1,000 facilities and 3,600 vehicles.

Iron Mountain is publicly traded under NYSE symbol IRM, is an S&P 500 company and is a member of FTSE4Good Index. Iron Mountain is also a Fortune 1000 company - currently ranked at 726.[7]

Iron Mountain has received many different awards and honors throughout the years; including being featured as one of Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” for six consecutive years.[8]

Significant Dates & Interesting Facts

  • Herman Knaust, “The Mushroom King”, founded Iron Mountain in 1951 in Livingston, NY.
  • Originally, Knaust made his fortune by growing mushrooms. In 1936, he purchased a depleted iron ore mine so he could have more space to grow.
  • When the market shifted and demand decreased he decided to focus on a new business opportunity.
  • In 1951, Knaust founded the Iron Mountain Atomic Storage, Inc. and opened the first underground vaults.
  • With the Cold War going on there was a question of atomic security. Knaust used the vaults to protect corporate information from nuclear attacks and other disasters. In fact, from 1958-1974 ExxonCorp. Leased a 200,000-square-foot, three level bomb shelter equipped with 65 rooms including a chandeliered dining hall and a commercial kitchen that accommodated 90 of their top executives.
  • The 28-ton triple-time lock vault door protecting the Livingston vault is larger than the one protecting the United States’ gold at Fort Knox. Knaust purchased it from a bankrupted Ohio bank for $1 and paid over $20,000 to have it shipped.
  • On August 24th, 1951 Iron Mountain first’s customer, East Rivers Savings Bank, brought over microfilm copies of deposit records and duplicate signature cards in armored Wells Fargo trucks to the underground vault.
  • In 1978, Iron Mountain opened their first above storage facility in New York.
  • Iron Mountain acquired New England Storage Warehouse in Boston in 1980 and thus expanded its network further into New England.
  • With the acquisition of Data Securities International. Inc. (DSI) in 1997, Iron Mountain became the leading software escrow company in the world.

Intellectual Property Management’s Additional Product Offerings

  • Software and Technology Escrow
    • Iron Mountain offers secure physical and electronic vaulting where the source code for the licensed software is kept. Iron Mountain’s Software Escrow Service serves as a risk mitigation resource when two or more parties are negotiating a license for software. If the licensor is not able to support its product in the future- for reasons such as bankruptcy, acquisition, or strategic partnership- then the licensee can contact Iron Mountain to request a release of the source code. Provided that the release conditions are satisfied, the source code is then released to the licensee.[9]
  • Verification Services
    • Iron Mountain’s Verification Services provide peace of mind after a successful deposit of software or technology into an escrow account. Iron Mountain delivers a report identifying what is in the account, makes sure that it is all complete and functional, and also defines what is necessary in order to reconstruct the technology in the event that the licensor fails to continue their services.[10]
  • SaaSProtect Suite of Services
    • Iron Mountain’s SaaSProtect Business Continuity Services offer a risk management solution and a disaster recovery plan for all Software-as-a-Service contract parties. SaaS providers and subscribers, or lawyers representing either party, are well aware of the risks and challenges associated with making the move over to the cloud. SaaSProtect ensures application continuity and data availability which develops trust and provides peace of mind for all parties.[11]
  • IP Litigation Discovery Escrow
    • The discovery phase of litigation is difficult for both parties since both parties need to satisfy agreed-upon logistics, despite insufficient time, personnel, resources, and facilities. The defendant must satisfy discovery requirements of the court while also protecting their intellectual property and the plaintiff must gain access to that information in preparation for trial. Iron Mountain plays the role of a neutral third party in the discovery process. Iron Mountain provides a secure environment that disables networking and outside communications from a secure location so both parties can gather and examine evidence during intellectual property lawsuits.[12]
  • D3P: Designated Third Party Compliance
    • In the drive toward full compliance with the Security Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) rules for preservation of electronic records, such as SEC rule 17a-f and Section 17 CFR 1.31, many securities firms have overlooked a critical record keeping obligation: the designated third party requirement. With a strong knowledge of SEC regulations and proven best practices in providing D3P services, Iron Mountain provides your compliance organizations with tremendous insight into your systems.[13]
  • Collateral Escrow
    • Software collateral escrow is a synthesis of escrow, valuation, and audit processes in which a corporation’s intellectual property assets are assessed and utilized as collateral to secure financing. Iron Mountain works as a neutral third party in these arrangements.[14]

Intellectual Property Management’s Partnerships

Iron Mountain has partnered with several Registry Service Providers as their preferred registry data escrow agent including:[15]

  • Afilias is a global provider of internet infrastructure services that connect people their data. As the world’s largest provider of diverse domain registry services, Afilias supports more than 20 million registrations across 16 different TLDs, six of which are new TLDs.
  • Central Registry Solutions (CRS) is a partnership between Network Solution, LLC and CentralNic Ltd., combining one of the largest and most trusted registrars with one of the premiere registries in the industry. CRS was formed to help customers navigate the ICANN application process and provide advice regarding set up and maintenance of registry services for new TLDs. In addition, CRS offers registry, domain distributing, and other value-added services.
  • Key-Systems' KSregistry provides features and functions to successfully operate a registry and meets the needs of existing ccTLDs, applicants for the new gTLDs as well as companies planning to establish their name or brand as a new TLD. KSregistry is highly scalable and can easily handle an increasing number of customers or domains.
  • Melbourne IT DBS has a team in place that understands the requirements for establishing a new top-level domain and can provide assistance in every step of the process. We provide new gTLDs consulting for business plan development, writing the application and management of the application process, and assembling and operating the ideal technical infrastructure.
  • Qinetics (RegistryASP) has over 8 years’ experience in development and operation of advanced Registry and Registrar solutions, serving Registries and Registrars around the world. RegistryASP is designed to perform continuously with no downtime through High Availability (HA) setups.
  • Register.IT offers strategic advice in the definition of business opportunities and in the process of application. We provide complete assistance across the range of services from TLD to the prelaunch phase.
  • UrbanBrain (Interlink) provides comprehensive consulting, policy development, application drafting, and operational training services for prospective new gTLD applicants. Interlink owns and operates Gonbei Domain, a successful ICANN Accredited Registrar which was founded in 2002 (ICANN Accredited in 2006) and Kaisendonya, a company specializing in the development and distribution of mobile contents.


  1. About Us,
  2. ICANN announcement, Published 13 February 2008.
  3. ICANN Announcement, Published 31 May 2013.
  4. Data Escrow for the New gTLDs, Iron Mountain. Published 2011.
  5. Technology Escrow Services, Registry Data Escrow Iron Mountain Retrieved Sept 18 2014
  6. Registrar Data Escro Iron, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  7. About Us,
  8. Awards and Honors Iron Mountain, 18 Sept 2014
  9. Software Escrow, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  10. Verification Services Iron, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  11. Software as a Service Continuity Services, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  12. IP Litigation Discovery Escrow, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  13. Designated Third Party Compliance Services Iron, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  14. Collateral Escrow, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014
  15. Strategic Alliances, Retrieved 18 Sept 2014